LOCKDOWN TALES was Wonderful Beast’s answer to the first lockdown in March 2020, when it initiated an online series of over 50 stories and poetry recorded by actors, musicians, poets, a dancer for children around the world to enjoy.
BUBBLE WRAP came next in the third Lockdown (Feb/March 2021): a pilot project for the over 65s, in partnership with Wardens Trust. A series of online workshops, Bubble Wrap took place via the magic of Zoom, bringing together participants from across East Anglia.
It was led by four brilliant artists – Dean Parkin (poet), Martina Schwarz (musician), Hilary Greatorex (actor), and Anusha Subramanyam (dancer), under the umbrella of Wonderful Beast. Originally called Connect and Create, the project evolved into Bubble Wrap thanks to Dean's poem of the same title, which got the whole project rolling and broke the ice. That and the folk tale of The Old Woman and the Vinegar Bottle, were the creative starting points for every group.
In this particular time of isolation ‘connecting’ has been the driving force of the project, whether it is linking one art form to another or linking people. It’s been about meeting new people, feeling part of a group, enjoying the diversity of each other’s imagination and talents, tapping into our own creativity and most importantly having fun!
Quotes from participants
Warm feeling today, going back in time, being part of a group instead of being lonely.
It brightened up my week from the plod, plod of Lockdown. -- Jenifer Kirby
It made me realise how much I’ve been missing fun creative activities. -- Janet Koralambe
It was a great privilege to work with real and talented artists. -- Christine Laschet
Words from the artists:
It was wonderful to see locked-down minds opening up and connecting with each other, and a joy to see so many smiles beaming back.
-- Hilary Greatorex
I’ve run several projects on Zoom over the last year but this did things differently and more ambitiously - connecting a wide-range of people across the county, and bringing people who are isolated, lonely or simply cheesed-off into the Wonderful Beast family and friends!
-- Dean Parkin
We are currently working on creating an online gallery showing all the wonderful creative work – wishes, poems, stories, recordings - that emerged inspired by the sessions.
Selected recorded material from all the sessions will be edited to create a short documentary of the whole project.
Alys Kihl, Founder and Artistic Director of Wonderful Beast.